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How to get “Unstuck”

Key Points

  • All of us will have times when we feel stuck, indecisive or unmotivated.
  • It takes physical action to break out of the rut.
  • A period of deep thought, research, reading, investigation is the basis of change.
  • Creating a COMPELLING VISION will pull you up out of the rut and serve as your roadmap.

Think About This

Have you ever felt “stuck” and vulnerable to indecisiveness? As you reflect on your life experiences, what has worked to help you break out of a rut?


I once found myself in a life situation where I felt bored, unmotivated, stuck, and not sure what to do next. I realized I was lacking a COMPELLING VISION! Here is what I did to get moving again in case it might be helpful to you.

First, I left my normal routines, physical space, and life for a few days. I took a trip by myself to a warm climate and booked a comfortable hotel room. Once there, I was able to focus completely on the challenges before me, immerse myself in distraction free thought, and focus.

Second, while I typically exercise every day, I become rather sedentary when I work. So, while I was away on my self-created “retreat,” I started every day with a very early and long walk around a lake (this was central Florida). During this walk I thought through my challenges. I took a notepad with me (a phone would work well too) and wrote down my thoughts.

Third, once back in my room, I ordered a large pot of coffee and listed all my questions in a Word document. One question per page. Then, I proceeded to research, sort through information, brainstorm ideas, do more research, sort through and prioritize viable options and solutions.

Fourth, to stay on track after this intense effort, I set up a monthly accountability meeting on my calendar between me, myself, and I (we all get along well). And I promised to hold myself accountable and to measure my progress.

This turned out to be a very productive life pivot. There is no way I could have done it at home. My home, work, job, family are all awesome – I wasn’t getting away from anyone or anything – I was just getting away. The different environment with NO distractions and NO requirements for me to do anything opened the space I needed to THINK!

What to do NOW!

1) Make the time >>> Decide how you can block off time to intensely focus on the challenges or decisions that are in front of you. Take vacation time or plan a long holiday weekend. Find a way to block off a big chunk of time.

2) Go somewhere different >>> Perhaps “different” is staying at home but creating a new workspace or using part of your home in a different manner. Or, find a local library or coffee shop where you can focus. And, if possible, consider a trip out of town for a few days by yourself.

3) Think >>> Clearly and intensely think and brainstorm a very specific list of what you are facing.

4) Research >>> Read, Google various topics and questions, call mentors, do everything you can to gather as much information as possible.

5) Action plan >>> Make an action plan. Be very specific with timelines and goals.